Top Five Pistol Caliber Carbines 

Fast Action, Run, and Gun with these Awesome Pistol Caliber Carbines

Pistol Caliber Carbines or PCC are all the latest rage on the range. Shooters from coast to coast are picking up short barreled, fast handling auto-loaders built on pistol caliber actions. PCC rifles are a terrific addition to any collection, and they fit many roles that lie somewhere between a pistol and a high velocity center fire rifle. Let’s take a look at some of the best options out there for the shooter today.

Why All the Hype?

Pistol Caliber Carbines fit a unique sweet spot for shooters that suite many use cases and manufacturers are taking notice. By capitalizing on low velocity, light recoil, and light weight pistol rounds, PCC rifles excel in many disciplines, offering shooters options for competition, home defense, tactical work, and range time.

  • Three Gun – Three gun competitions have gained widespread popularity as shooters become more tactically minded. The three gun community quickly realized the usefulness of a short fast handling rifle that can be fired at low velocity targets, and at close range. PCCs chambered in 9mm or 45 ACP are safe to run on ranges built for pistol use, even indoors, and they add a new element of cool to the competition. 
  • Ranch Rifle – A short, easy to handle rifle that can ride in the pickup, stay at the cabin, and be at the ready in camp is indispensable. A good ranch rifle is sturdy, quick to point, and ready for varmints that go bump in the night. The small form factor of pistol ammunition makes it practical to load 20 or 30 rounds in a mag, and keep the rifle light enough to pack around. For varmint action inside of 100 yards, a handy pistol caliber carbine is just the ticket. 
  • Range Time – A good range gun should be fun to shoot, easy to operate, and economical to feed ammunition into. PCC rifles hit high marks on all accounts. Taking a Saturday afternoon at the range and running a pistol caliber carbine through its paces is enjoyable, the recoil is light, and ammo in 9mm is a fraction of the cost of .223 or .308. Putting in some time behind the trigger on a PCC offers versatility to shoot prone, standing, kneeling, or even from a bench; these little rifles have a lot to offer, and on a budget.

The Head of the Class

With the popularity of pistol caliber carbines comes a market full of options. Firearm manufacturers are rolling out handy little rifles chambered in various pistol cartridges with all sorts of features. Collapsible stocks, threaded barrels, take down models, even rifles that accept Glock pistol magazines are on the shelves. How do you make sense of the options? What’s the best fit for you and your budget? Here are 5 exceptional options on the market that will put some bang in your buck!

  • Scorpion EVO 3 – CZ USA imports this fantastically versatile 9mm from the Czech Republic. The Scorpion line and action is offered in various varieties including the standard carbine with a folding stock, an arm brace SBR, and even a pistol. The Scorpion platform is chock full of great features like a threaded barrel and ambidextrous controls. Chambered in 9mm, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 is at the top of our list for its reliability, simple design, and price point.

KRISS Vector Super V – KRISS USA has turned a lot of heads with their out of the box solution to building a pistol caliber carbine rifle. Their non-linear operating system directs recoil down and away from the shooters shoulder not only reducing felt recoil, but also reducing muzzle jump. Available in 9mm, 45 ACP, 10mm, .40 S&W, and .357; these little rifles accept Glock mags and hit high marks for practicality and usefulness.

Ruger PC Carbine 9 – Ruger is a longtime trusted name in the firearms industry. The iconic 10-22, mini 14, and their American bolt action rifles have been long trusted partners in the field for American sportsmen. Not to let the pistol caliber carbine platform outrun them, Ruger developed a winner in their PC (pistol caliber) rifle. Built on the tried and true 10-22 action, but in 9mm the Ruger PC Carbine is a handy little rifle that takes down to fit into a pack. Closer to a classic style rifle than the others on our list, the Ruger PC Carbine fits a more traditional rifle offering in a pistol caliber.

Taurus Circuit Judge – Taurus took the Pistol Caliber Carbine in a unique direction with their Rossi Circuit Judge revolver action rifle. This little shooter can handle both .410 shotgun loads and 45LC pistol rounds. A handi rifle for home defense, at the ranch, around camp, or in the truck. Built on a 5 shot revolving action, this pistol caliber carbine’s action is simple and reliable with very little to go wrong. Here you may sacrifice high capacity magazines for simplicity. The Rossi Circuit Judge by Taurus is in a class of its own.

TNW Aero Survival Rifle – The guys over at TNW Firearms took a lot into consideration when they put together their Aero Survival Rifle. Based out of Oregon, TNW is a young company when it comes to firearm manufacturers, but they’ve developed a real winner in their Aero pistol caliber carbine. Built to be a handy take down rifle, the Aero is based around the Armalite AR-7. The rifle is a lightweight 5 ½ pounds and easily packed into an everyday backpack. The Aero resembles easily without any tools, and accepts Glock mags. This rifle is offered in more cailbers than any others on our list including .22LR, .22Mag, 17HMR, 9mm, 10mm, 45 ACP, .40S&W, and .357SIG.

Bonus Rifle – Not technically a Pistol Caliber Carbine, but definitely worth mentioning is the MechTech conversion. Essential an upper receiver with barrel and stock that matches up with the action and lower receiver of a pistol. Turn your “baby Glock” into a sub-compact pistol caliber carbine in just a few minutes. Available for Glocks, Springfield XD, and 1911s; the MechTech conversion will quickly turn your 9mm, 45 ACP, 40S&W, or 10MM pistol into a shoulder stocked carbine rifle.

Pistol caliber carbines have taken the shooting industry by storm over the past several years, and it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. It is definitely a buyer’s market with more and more options available in carbine rifles chambered in pistol calibers. Whether you are looking for a defensive weapon, are a tactical operator, need a camp rifle, or just a weekend plinker; there is a pistol caliber carbine that will fit your needs.

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